I grew up in the Church of the Nazarene. While I later found a church home in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I’ve longed to find ways to reimagine the integrity (wholeness, togetherness) of my Christian roots (which also include a healthy dose of Anabaptism–Mennonite and Amish; check out the “Swartzentruber Amish”).
The DOC is theologically indebted to reformed Protestantism through the Scottish Presbyterian Church (Thomas and Alexander Campbell both derived their emphasis on unity from their experience of “sectarianism” within the various Presbyterian churches in Scotland). The figurehead of reformed theology is John Calvin, a man I’ve had a theologically tenuous relationship with through the years. After Divinity School, I’m coming to embrace some of his spirit and work, learning to distance his life and thought from the various Calvinisms that, I suspect, sped off in extreme directions.
My Nazarene heritage emphasizes the Wesleyan-Arminian wing of theology–that is, the work and thought of John Wesley and the Methodist church. Wesley and Calvin share a lot of theological commitments and understandings, and the differences between them can be inflated and overstated. However, the movements and denominations that sprang from their life and thought have taken on distinctive and divergent shapes, and I’m striving to learn what it means to live as one informed by both. More specifically, and as a result of my increasing interest on the contours and complexities of the Christian life, I’m focusing on the “sanctification” and “holiness” emphases that so oriented Wesley and the Methodists.
So, though I’ve spent more time reading Reformed-inspired work (particularly through the lens of Kathryn Tanner), I’ve also been keeping an eye on many things “Methodist,” including the blog of my methodist Div School colleague Kyle Radar. He posted the following “fight song” he found, and I couldn’t help but join in his amusement and enjoyment. So for all of my “methodist” friends out there, here’s to you! Thanks Kyle.